What’s New

Press releases and latest messages from OneChiswick

OneChiswick has no connection with any damage to Council traffic counters

June 1st Statement  

Exactly one month ago, accusations were made and repeated on social media without any evidence or indeed any truth whatsoever, which insinuated that members of OneChiswick had vandalised a garden and destroyed some flowers. It soon became clear these claims were in fact ludicrous and those claiming it quickly withdrew their insinuations. 

 Now just one month later it appears that traffic counters set up by Hounslow Council around Chiswick have been damaged which is very bad news for all of us who want the collection of good accurate traffic data.   Some councillors have have suggested this is deliberate vandalism. It is unclear whether this happened as a result of any systematic criminality. Other people have suggested it was the work of young foxes who can be very destructive indeed.   We don’t know and given that there appears to be so much damage over so many sites – the police should be called to investigate before further accusations are made and hasty conclusions reached. 

What we can categorically state is that OneChiswick had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with any of this.  We are against the imposition of LTNs and the unsafe Cycle Lane but we are in favour of the proper collection of accurate traffic data and we are entirely against law breaking or vandalism of any kind. 

It has been further alleged by the ChiswickCalendar website which is known for its eager and consistent support of the activities of Hounslow Council and its Lower Traffic Neighbourhoods policies that:

“The Facebook group OneChiswick, who are taking the council to Judicial Review over the cycle lane through Chiswick, published a list of locations where the traffic counting strips had been placed a few days earlier.”  

This is a highly misleading statement and we have written to the editor Bridget Osborne about this asking her to remove it. 

There was a wide ranging and legitimate discussion in the private Facebook group about the traffic counters not just in Chiswick but in the entire Borough and even across London but no list of locations was published. 

OneChiswick is a campaigning organisation who operate entirely within the law to achieve a just and lawful outcome for the residents of Chiswick who are overwhelmingly against the changes being imposed by the London Borough of Hounslow. We will never encourage or carry out any vandalism and will continue to refute and resist any concerted bogus claims to discredit our reputation.  

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UPDATE ON TIMING OF JUDICIAL REVIEW

“The Judicial Review which was originally due to be heard on June 17/18 will now be postponed until September or early October. This decision was agreed mutually between all the parties; One Chiswick Ltd, London Borough of Hounslow and Transport for London and has been confirmed by the Judge, Mr Justice Kerr.

This will ensure that it  is heard after the TfL’s appeal against judgment against them in the UTAG (taxi drivers’s) case. which  will be reviewing the lawfulness of the Streetspace programme. It will also give all parties more time to review the evidence, which is extensive, and allow time for discussions between the parties” 23rd May 2021

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Hounslow Council is Not Listening and Wants To Waste More Taxpayers Money on Streetspace Schemes that Residents have Overwhelmingly Rejected

(A letter to Hounslow Council in response to Steer’s report (below) on the overwhelming rejection of Hounslow’s Streetspace Measures:)

‘OneChiswick welcomes the confirmation of the “overwhelming opposition” to Hounslow’s Streetspace Schemes revealed in the Council’s Interim Report this week. The silent majority has spoken. In accordance with the public’s wishes, OneChiswick calls on the Council to reverse all Streetspace Schemes by 21 June. 

This local opposition is very understandable and follows on from the judgement handed down by Justice Lang in January 2021 that both the Mayor of London and TfL’s London Streetspace Plan (and the associated Interim Guidance for Boroughs) were unlawful.  Many Councils wisely ripped out their schemes followingthis judgement. Only the most extreme are holding out.

Hounslow Council is now faced with:

-The schemes being unlawful

– Overwhelming opposition to the schemes from residents and businesses, as reported by their own consultants in their own report

– Residents becoming alarmed that this is the most undemocratic Council in the history of Hounslow, as it proposes wasting even more money on schemes its residents have said they don’t want. 

OneChiswick was formed to stand up for Chiswick and resist these unwanted road changes. It has been entirely vindicated in its position about the level of opposition across Chiswick.  

It is now clear that OneChiswick, does indeed represent the majority view. Hounslow Council has had an unfortunate tendency to promote, favour and resource minority groups who command little respect in the community.

Hounslow claimed that people would come to adapt and accept these changes but in fact opposition is growing daily as more and more people become increasingly inconvenienced:being forced into circuitous routes to and from their own homes; suffering protracted delays on bus transport across Chiswick; hold ups to emergency services; and having to deal with the delays to much needed community care.

The Hounslow Streetspace schemes are failing on another key measure.  They are increasing pollution levels rather than reducing them as witnessed by the queues on Acton Lane and South Parade, Turnham Green Terrace, Chiswick High Road, Chiswick Lane, Goldhawk Road, the A316 and Burlington Lane.  

The Council Is Not Listening – Democracy Is Being Brought Into Disrepute

The abandonment and immediate reversal of the damaging changes Hounslow Council wrought upon Turnham Green Terrace is a decision they are taking in response to the overwhelming opposition expressed in the consultation process. 89% of respondents “strongly opposed” the scheme and 84% requested its immediate reversal.

But is Hounslow Council really listening to local residents?

In his announcement, Councillor Hanif Khan, Cabinet Member for Transport and One Hounslow, said, “We recognised that many residents feel very strongly about Hounslow’s Streetspace trials and that’s why it was important for us to listen, to show we’re listening”.

Have you listened Mr Khan, or is this just to “show” you’re listening?  If you are listening, then:

▪ Why are you not reopening Fishers Lane to motor vehicles, when 88% of respondents “strongly opposed” the scheme and 84% requested its immediate reversal?   Further a petition against the scheme has been signed by over 10,000 Ealing and Hounslow residents. 

▪ Why are you not immediately removing the Devonshire Road Streetspace scheme, where it was “strongly opposed” by 82% of respondents, and 79% requested its immediate reversal?

▪ Why are you proposing to reintroduce the Turnham Green Terrace scheme, so resoundingly rejected by residents, by paying for consultants to investigate “public realm improvement” (ie to pedestrianise large parts of it). 

Mr Khan said he needed to be sure that the Council had heard the “voices of our communities”.  They have spoken, very loudly and very clearly and all of the schemes should be reversed by 21 June.

The Council Should Not Waste More Taxpayers’ Money

Instead of reversing the schemes immediately – the overwhelming response to the consultation – Mr Khan and Hounslow Council are intent on spending more Council Tax money on engaging “third parties” (ie consultants) hoping they may give them a different answer.  This is throwing good money after bad.

The implementation of Streetspace measures in Turnham Green Terrace cost £22,000, and that does not include the cost of staff to instal, maintain and remove the obstacles. This week, the council paid thousands of pounds more to have them ripped out.

It is time that Hounslow Council actually listened to the public they represent, instead of pretending to. To waste further money on Streetspace measures in the face of such overwhelming public opposition brings democracy into disrepute.

In the Council’s own consultation, residents in Chiswick (and across Hounslow) have overwhelmingly rejected the illegal Streetspace measures that Hounslow Council implemented. In the same survey residents overwhelmingly requested the immediate removal of the Streetspace measures.

OneChiswick requests of Hanif Khan and Hounslow Council that:

– All Streetspace measures in Devonshire Road and Fishers Lane are reversed immediately. 

-All remaining schemes are removed by 21 June 2021.

The people of Chiswick have spoke many times this year.  The message is absolutely consistent.  Will Hounslow Council listen?’ 

ENDS 21st May 2021

HIGH LEVEL OF OPPOSITION TO CHISWICK’S UNPOPULAR STREET CHANGES CONFIRMED BY STEER published w/c 17th May

Traffic consultant’s reports makes uncomfortable reading for council – fromChiswick’s Local Web site (chiswickw4.com)

There has been a consistent increase in week day bus journey times on Chiswick High Road


The publication of the interim reports by transport consultant Steer has confirmed a very high level of opposition to Hounslow Council’s Streetspace schemes from residents in the Chiswick area.
The independent reports were commissioned by the council with over 10,000 responses provided by residents concerning recently introduced traffic measures across the borough. The level of opposition is likely to put further pressure on the council to unwind more of the schemes implemented last year. The scrapping of some measures has already been announced.
Across the 27 measures that were covered by the survey opposition ranged from 57% to 92% depending on the scheme with the proportion calling for trials to be stopped immediately varying from 50% to 88%. The now scrapped Turnham Green Terrace closure was the least popular scheme according to the analysis.
Steer notes that it takes time for transport scheme to reach a ‘steady state’ as users of the transport system need to explore various options and adjust their habits in response to changed conditions. The consultant is to prepare a full report on the schemes being continued by the council at a later date.
Steer acknowledged that any conclusions about the effect of the council’s measures had to be considered in the context of a significant decline in traffic across the borough for the period during which the analysis was done. Overall, traffic on the borough’s distributor roads was down significantly during the time of the review although local and residential roads have been less affected.
Steer did not attempt to separate the impact of Covid-19 reductions in traffic and Streetpace measures on air quality as any affects were likely to be masked. It states that the suddenness of the Secretary of State’s May 2020 directive under which many of the Streetspace measures were undertaken meant that there was no ability to undertake “before” surveys of air quality on the roads affected to establish baselines against which “after” surveys could be measured.
The South Chiswick Liveable Neighbourhoods scheme including the restrictions on Staveley Road and Hartington Road was not considered by the report and temporary Cycleway 9 was only covered incidentally as their interim review is at a later date.
In ‘Chiswick North’ defined as the area north of the A4 the council has already decided to permanently scrap the restriction on traffic in Turnham Green Terrace. Steer concluded that the north/south restriction on the Terrace was displacing traffic to Goldhawk Road and Acton Lane.
The report states that the number of longer distance trips using Turnham Green Terrace and Fisher’s Lane have been reduced by the measures but goes onto say, “It appears that traffic flows on Bath Road are slightly higher than would be expected relative to borough-wide trends. However, it is difficult to conclusively say whether this is due to the scheme or caused by other factors.”
Steer analysed the responses on Hounslow Council’s Citizenspace platform of there were 2582 concerning the Turnham Green Terrace closure. Of these 89% strongly opposed the measure with another 3% somewhat opposed. Certain measures on Turnham Green Terrace have now been scrapped Chiswick’s Local Web site (chiswickw4.com)
Although the closure of Fisher’s Lane is a London Borough of Ealing measure, Steer analysed the results of feedback on the Citizenspace platform. There were 1,124 responses about Fisher’s Lane, 88% of which strongly opposed it with 3% somewhat opposed. Analysis has showed that the date of response had little influence on feelings about the measure or its future.
The closure of Devonshire Road was opposed by 86% of the 659 respondents with 14% in favour. The primary area of concern was the measure’s impact on the independent shops located on Devonshire Road, largely due to perceptions of decreased footfall, brought about by the removal of vehicle access and parking on the street. Some respondents expressed concern that the removal of vehicle access makes shopping on Devonshire Road unattractive.
88% of the 137 people who responded specifically on the measure to restrict access from Chiswick High Road onto Duke Road were strongly opposed to the measure with just 9% indicating some measure of support. The primary areas of concern were increased congestion on surrounding roads causing longer journey times and the resultant impact on air quality.
246 people responded specifically to the survey on the closure of access to the A4 from Harvard Hill with 62% either strongly or somewhat opposed and 37% strongly or somewhat in favour. Steer’s analysis suggested the measure has significantly reduced traffic around Harvard Hill but may have contributed to an increase in traffic on Thames Road and Strand on the Green.
The positioning of a planter on Dan Mason Drive to stop traffic using the railway underpass was comparatively less unpopular with 57% strongly opposed and 7% somewhat opposed out of 200 respondents. Half said it should be removed immediately with another 10% saying it should be scrapped at the end of the trial period. 30% wanted the measure put in place permanently. Steer’s analysis found no evidence of displaced traffic due to the measure.
The council have decided to make the closure of access to traffic to the South Circular from Wellesley Road permanent. The measure was included in the survey with 62% of 170 respondents opposed to some degree most of them referring to increased congestion on surrounding roads, notably Oxford Road North and Chiswick High Road.
Steer found a consistent increase in bus journey times throughout the day on weekdays on Chiswick High Road and for the afternoon peak on Saturday although while Turnham Green Terrace was closed to general traffic there was an improvement in southbound journey times for buses using this route.
For access to the A4 the report concludes that vehicles travelling south have generally been displaced from alternative routes onto Sutton Court Road. The volume of traffic using these routes overall is down. It thought possible that displaced traffic from restrictions on Duke Road and Devonshire Road has also contributed to the increase in traffic on Sutton Court Road.
Hounslow Council also has given consideration of exemption for Blue Badge holders from some prohibited traffic movements. It was decided not to do this because of difficulties in determining whether or not the Blue Badge holder was in the vehicle to be exempt from any moving traffic offence.
A spokesperson for the Hounslow Cycling Campaign said the group was still reviewing the large amount of information contained in the reports adding, “Certainly at first glance it is good news that the data does not appear to indicate increased pollution and congestion which were two of the main objections to all of the schemes.
“The data confirmed Fisher’s Lane as primarily a through route for traffic from Acton and Shepherd’s Bush to the A4. We fully support keeping it closed to traffic except buses as a north-south cycling and walking link between Ealing and Chiswick High Rd and Cycleway 9. Enforcement needs to be improved, however.
“The junction of Fisher’s Lane and Chiswick High Road had the highest numbers of pedestrian casualties in Chiswick caused by collisions with motor vehicles so keeping it closed represents a major safety benefit.
“Devonshire Road is being transformed into a vibrant street for people rather than parking and cars driving through. We have been asking for two way cycling on Devonshire Rd for some time and this should be put in place permanently as part of the street’s transformation (except when there are events such as markets).”
The final review for the scheme will be published in July 2021, along with decisions about which schemes will be made permanent.

The Streetspace measures on Turnham Green Terrace

Latest Fundraising Campaign 23.4.2021

CHISWICK NEEDS YOU!

Campaign leaflet to raise funds for the judicial review of C9(T), lands on doormats throughout Chiswick

OneChiswick, the group campaigning to reverse the road changes, is today starting to distribute a striking new leaflet specifically to raise more funds for the upcoming judicial review of C9T (now scheduled for early autumn), the temporary cycle lane on Chiswick High Road.

The leaflet features the iconic image used by Lord Kitchener to recruit troops for the first World War, to attract the attention of residents and encourage donations.  The back of the leaflet contains information on the judicial review and the many reasons why C9(T) and other Streetspace schemes need to be reversed and residents consulted properly.  It coincides with unprecedented queues of traffic and related pollution as we emerge from lockdown and includes a QR code that links to the group’s GoFundMe fundraising account.

Speaking about this latest stage of the campaign, a spokesperson for OneChiswick said,

“Residents and businesses remain extremely angry about the changes and the way in which their views have been ignored and rejected.  Gridlock, pollution, long detours and millions in unfair fines are not their only concerns.  They are also angry about the inequality C9(T) causes for disabled people, frail or elderly and for the many worrying delays to the emergency, medical and  care services and our public transport, on which everyone relies. 

More and more people are also deeply concerned about the devastating impact of C9(T), the road closures and removed parking are having on so many shop owners.  Chiswick has also become a no go area for the many who used to visit our shops, restaurants and community from neighbouring places.  We hope for a generous response to our appeal to cover the costs of the judicial review – it is one of our best hopes to bring back the Chiswick we love.”

OneChiswick has set up a GoFundMe page for donations: https://uk.gofundme.com/f/onechiswick-united-against-streetspace-changes

OneChiswick is encouraging residents to put the leaflet in their windows, just as many did with its previous poster “Hounslow Council is Destroying Chiswick”.

ENDS

Press Release 23 Feb 2021

LOCAL BUS DRIVER CONFIRMS C9 IS A DISASTER FOR CHISWICK 

 AND PREDICTS IT WILL BE “MAYHEM” AFTER LOCKDOWN

In a hard-hitting interview a local Chiswick bus driver has confirmed that C9 is a disaster for Chiswick bus drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and other road users.  He describes being in a near miss with a cyclist and is fearful of what might happen if there is a major incident requiring all emergency services to travel through Chiswick. 

The bus driver, who has asked to remain anonymous, currently drives E3, 272 and H91 buses and has over 11 years’ experience driving buses in London.  He volunteered to be interviewed because he is so frustrated by the effects of C9. 

Speaking candidly, he describes a near miss incident when he stepped off the bus at a changeover point and nearly got run over by a cyclist who was going in a different direction.  This was “a big breach” in safety, he said.  

He anticipates a “big, big, big, clash” if an ambulance, a fire vehicle and police need to get through Chiswick High Road to reach a significant emergency incident. 

On travel times he said bus journeys had been drastically affected particularly at changeover points, when buses are loading, and at bus stops, and that this was affecting local businesses.  “There are big long queues” which slow down others’ journeys on Chiswick High Road.  He added that it “is not acceptable” especially “when you think about the ripple effect of it”.  

“Let’s watch out when everything goes back to normal … it’s going to be mayhem on Chiswick High Road,” he added.  

“The people who are behind the idea, they need to go back to the drawing board and have a rethink and re-plan – listen to the bus drivers, listen to the locals, listen to the passengers and then we can get a better Chiswick” he concluded.  

The bus driver was interviewed by local resident Marjorie Frew. She asked him for his view and his immediate response showed just how much C9 is of concern to him and his bus driver colleagues.  She then asked him if he would be willing to be interviewed, mindful of the risks involved in speaking out.  He agreed saying it was extremely important to tell people just how concerned bus drivers are.  

The interview is attached and is available to view/listen.  The driver’s words are spoken exactly as delivered by an actor, to preserve the bus driver’s anonymity.

Interview with a London bus driver

OneChiswick, the local group of residents campaigning for a common- sense approach to meeting the challenges of the climate emergency, is now working towards its judicial review of the illegal C9 which is planned for 16th/17th June.  It is encouraging residents to contribute to the legal costs by donating via its GoFundMe account: https://uk.gofundme.com/f/onechiswick-united-against-streetspace-changes

ENDS

Notes to Editors

  • The bus driver interview: is available to view and is attached; the voice is spoken by an actor to protect the identity of the driver.
  • The transcript: of the interview is also attached.
  • OneChiswick. OneChiswick is a group of Chiswick residents who have come together to represent the views of the majority of Chiswick residents and businesses.  It is working to reverse the road access and parking changes that Hounslow and Ealing councils have imposed through the Streetspace project, LTNs and C9T.  OneChiswick fully supports and encourages walking and cycling (many in the group are keen and regular cyclists) and the need to respond to the pandemic and the climate emergency.  It is the execution, and the lack of full and proper professional consultation, to which it objects.
  • Fundraising for the judicial review of C9: On 12th February 2021 at a decisions meeting at the High Court it was confirmed that there would be a judicial review of Hounslow council’s decision on C9T – early autumn 2021.  It is now fundraising to cover its legal costs.  Please donate via its GoFundMe account: https://uk.gofundme.com/f/onechiswick-united-against-streetspace-changes
  • Petition to re-open Turnham Green Terrace and Fishers Lane; with nearly 10,000 signatures: https://www.change.org/p/hounslow-and-ealing-councils-petition-against-closure-fishers-lane-and-turnham-green-terrace-in-chiswick-to-cars
  • Petition to consult on South Chiswick traffic measures; with nearly 3,000 signatures:  https://www.change.org/p/hounslow-council-south-chiswick-traffic-measures 
  • Website: https://onechiswick.com/

 For further information please contact

The OneChiswick team on: onechiswickw4@gmail.com


Press Release 17th February 2021

High Court grants OneChiswick date for Court Case to Fight the Undemocratic, Unlawful and Unsafe C9 cycleway.

OneChiswick, the group set up to reverse the undemocratic, unlawful and unsafe road changes in Chiswick and stop the abuse of power by the London Borough of Hounslow (LBH) has achieved a notable first objective.

The 12 February High Court Decision

On 12th February the High Court directed that One Chiswick Limited’s Judicial Review application in respect of LBH’s decision to implement a temporary bidirectional cycle lane on Chiswick High Road (@C9 Cycle Lane). 

One Chiswick says that this decision was unlawful and the C9 Cycle Lane is unsafe, causes increased pollution and is clearly intended to be permanent. Further, it was implemented without any prior consultation.

The Court hearing has been set for 17 June 2021.  

The C9 Cycle Lane was opened in December 2020 and has been condemned by the majority of Chiswick’s residents, including disability groups and local businesses, as it took out the bus lane causing massive queues for buses and cars, creating more idling traffic and pollution and restricting the movement of all emergency services.  In addition:

  • Chiswick’s most vulnerable residents now have cross the C9 Cycle Lane with the real risk of collision to reach the bus stop and then to wait at floating bus stops with no cover,
  • Cars are regularly seen driving into the cycle lanes at key junctions having accidently mistaken them for lanes.  
  • Carers say that journeys that once took them 10 minutes have increased more than four-fold and they are missing appointments.
  • The C9 Cycle Lane is not safe for cyclists – there have already been several accidents.

All of these problems will be magnified many times over once the Covid restrictions are lifted. 

Comments 

A spokesperson for OneChiswick says:

“LBH and TfL say this a temporary scheme for COVID, but spending over £250,000, ripping out bus lanes and pedestrian islands, and inserting new traffic light systems is not temporary.  Their supporters at London Cycling Campaign are on record that it is not a temporary scheme; that is unlawful.  

Look at what neighbouring (London Borough of) Hammersmith and Fulham have done on King Street with the barriers. That is temporary. Chiswick High Road is clearly not.

Worse still, they have completely ignored the most vulnerable, the disabled, the elderly and those who need to use public transport.  This is a dereliction of their duty of care by the London Borough of Hounslow. 

This ruling is a major step forward in our fight to have this illegal scheme reversed and return Chiswick to what it was before.  Sadly, we have had to take TfL and LBH to court which has costs. We urge residents, businesses and people who love to come to Chiswick to shop, relax and meet their friends to donate to this worthwhile cause through our Go Fund Me platform https://uk.gofundme.com/f/onechiswick-united-against-streetspace-changes.  A significant amount has been raised so far but the next phase is going to be particularly expensive.”

OneChiswick

OneChiswick which started as a Facebook group, now has a website, OneChiswick.com, a Go Fund Me Page and a petition (that has nearly 10,000 signatures on it) opposing these schemes.https://onechiswick.com/https://uk.gofundme.com/f/onechiswick-united-against-streetspace-changeshttps://www.change.org/p/hounslow-and-ealing-councils-petition-against-closure-fishers-lane-and-turnham-green-terrace-in-chiswick-to-cars